Thursday, 1 October 2009

59: Jimmy Eat World - The Middle

Often unfairly labelled as emo (and thus bundled in with the likes of Panic At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance et al), Arizona's Jimmy Eat World have been one of the most consistent US pop-punk bands of the Noughties, and are as much of this decade as anyone on this list. True, they had been around for nearly all of the 90s, but it was fourth album, 'Bleed American', released in July 2001, which saw the band hitting the big time.

'The Middle', the band's highest charting single (#26 in the UK, but an impressive #5 in the Billboard Hot 100 across the pond) was the song that the band wrote after being dropped by Capitol Records in 1999, following the commercial failure of their third album 'Clarity'. Once demos of 'Bleed American' started doing the rounds, Capitol even attempted to re-sign the band, but they preferred to sign with Dreamworks.

The hook is catchy, the lyrics are about as emo as Jimmy Eat World have ever been, and the video is surprisingly good. In it, a fully clothed teenager arrives at a house party, where Jimmy Eat World are performing, to discover that everyone else at the party is naked. Feeling excluded, he climbs into a cupboard to strip off and feel more a part of the crowd, only to discover a girl who is doing the same. They leave the party together, still fully clothed. The message is not very original - that individuality is valuable - but the method of delivery is clever, and peaked my interest when I first saw it.

Jimmy Eat World fact: The album 'Bleed American', and its eponymous opening track were both renamed as 'Salt Sweat Sugar' (under pressure from record label bosses who were concerned that it could be misinterpreted) after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Copies of the album with the original cover were considered highly valuable until 2008, when the band released a deluxe version of the album reverting to the original title.

1 comment:

  1. How about signed copies of the album with the original cover? Because I have one of them.
    Just a little nitpick-the song was renemaed Salt Sweat Sugar while the album became self-titled.